I am quite new in web mapping and I was wondering if I could implement a complete web GIS using just folium and pandas and ... and I mean that is it possible to do it without any geospatial web services server like geoserver or mapserver. Is it possible to do it without any server side technology?


It’s a bit of a vague question. If you want to to build custom maps that you can share with people via an html file than yes you can do it all in here. If you want to build an actual web mapping application that you want to deploy for clients to interact with than definitely not.

In terms of geoserver and mapserver I am not an expert and have not used them purposefully as I don’t think you necessarily need them. I don’t see a reason to use those tools unless you want to deploy your own custom tiles or need it as way to communicate with your web server to process spatial information in some special way. I think you can just use Postgres along with postgis, python or node backend and a JavaScript front end. I have successfully built my own custom APIs using flask to process posts and requests from a client with a postgis db. In the end a good web mapping stack is going to be a combination of spatial sql/python and JavaScript.

Just so you know folium has major limitations because you can only post so much data to the browser. You will need to get familiar with mapshaper or D3 packages in order to simplify your geojson/topojson if you are working with polygons. But I must say I love folium. It’s great.

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